Canada Winter Games Cultural Festival

2 Mar
As mentioned in the previous post, we attended the Cultural Festival at ATCO Place last night.  It was a fabulous time!
In the early evening, Jade and I went to see Michael playing in The Big Band.  Once we find a reliable babysitter, I might be able to join up with them as a backup singer, and watching them play made me all the more excited about the possibility. 
While listening to them, I decided to check out the art installation, which displays pan-northern art.  Many of the artists are also there, creating their works during the day.  As I was heading over, I was stopped by Gerry Antoine of the Dehcho Drummers.  It was so fun to see someone from our NWT home again!  We chatted for a bit, then I wandered over to the art exhibit where I immediately noticed birch-bark baskets from Fort Liard artist Karen Kotchea.  They were exquisite and right away I thought, "She didn’t charge enough".  Sure enough, every single one of her baskets were sold.  (I found out later on that they had been sold within the first three hours of the opening of the festival.)
Next thing, Carla from Yellowknife saw me and came over for a big hug and exclaimed over Jade.  (She asked why I wasn’t performing.  Haha!  Little does she know that I’ve been a hermit since I got to Yukon.  I think my chances for "stardom" were much better in the NWT!)  She and Camilla travelled with the artist contingent of Team NWT, which included Karen Kotchea, so we all chatted a bit before they rushed off for supper.  We rushed home, too, to get Jade to bed and have a bite to eat ourselves.
Michael and I had went back to the festival to see the Dehcho Drummers and we had a great chat with the Territorial Curator of art for Yukon before the drumming started.  We had a great time dancing and the drumming was altogether much too short.  Although it’s been a while since I’ve done any drum dancing and my legs probably couldn’t have held out much longer, anyway.
After that, Serena Ryder did her show.  I’d heard her name before, but having lived under a cultural rock for the past few years, I hadn’t ever heard her music before.  (Or, rather, if I did, I didn’t know it was her.)  It was a fabulous show!  What a talented woman!  And so fun to watch her perform.  She started the show singing a cappella, which not many people can carry off.  Then she accompanied herself on guitar and harmonica (at the same time) and then in the middle of a Leonard Cohen cover, the band members kind of drifted on.  Very fun.  We bought two of her CDs, which is extremely extravagant of us.
I was tired before I even got to the festival, but we didn’t leave until it ended.  It was just that good.  Part of what made it so fun for me, though, was meeting both old friends and new — it makes Whitehorse just seem so much more like home.

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